Hey there! Below is the result of my experiment in biography writing. In the fall of 2010, I hired a writer to investigate my life by interviewing my friends and family and writing a bio based on the results. It was a fun project for everyone, even my friends and family who were a little freaked out You can read my original job posting here.
“Impossible” is not a word that Mike Bridgman takes too seriously. His philosophy is that just because something hasn’t been done yet isn’t proof that it can’t be done. Tell Mike that something is simply not possible, and instead of inflexible barriers and fixed limits, he’ll see wide-open opportunities for innovation. If there’s anything that hinders Mike’s creative vision at all, it’s the dimension of time. One of his friends refers to Mike as “the idea man,” and says that Mike comes up with so many ideas that he’ll need to invent a machine capable of expanding time in order to bring them all to fruition.
Ask anyone who knows him to describe Mike, and you’ll invariably hear terms like “creative” and “talented,” “knowledgeable” and “hardworking,” “genuine” and “down-to-earth.” Ask Mike, and he’ll simply say with characteristic modesty that he enjoys a challenge, and much prefers to take a risk on an unorthodox approach than replicate an old, uninspired idea. Why settle for just thinking outside the box, when reconceptualizing the box itself might lead to an entirely new and stunning solution?
Perhaps most influential was his involvement with Odyssey of the Mind, an intellectually rigorous problem-solving competition for students from around the world, for helping him hone his ability to visualize unorthodox solutions and put them into action. In each of the eight years that Mike participated in these competitions, his team placed in the top three at the World championships – including two World Titles! If Odyssey of the Mind made a huge impression on Mike, it’s clear that the feeling was mutual; after college level competition he was invited back to serve on the judging panel at the World Finals.
Scientists may not have discovered it yet, but if there’s a gene for technological ability, Mike definitely has it! A computer geek before the term was ever coined, Mike’s fascination with computers began approximately two minutes after he encountered a PC for the first time. That’s how long it took him, at age three, to work out how to log on to his family’s new IBM PC. But lest you think he was a child prodigy, it did take him another 14 years to launch his first business building websites for local businesses. That enchantment with the power and potential of computers grew over time to encompass technologies of all kinds, and eventually led him first to study mechanical engineering, then on to Columbia to study interactive design.
After studying at Columbia, Mike moved back to his home in rural Lancaster County, Pennsylvania to start a web development & video production company. But, realistically, the heart of Amish farm country isn’t exactly the epicenter of cutting edge technology. In search of an environment more conducive to his creative ambitions, Mike packed his few possessions, hopped on his motorcycle, and took the scenic route back to Chicago. Within a week, he’d landed a plum position as Lead Web Developer at a downtown Chicago agency, where he currently works today. And just to ensure that he never suffers from technology withdrawal, he also provides freelance web design and development services for clients across the globe.
Away from the keyboard and code, Mike’s interests are just as eclectic, if not quite so nerdy. He’s a dedicated raquetball player, an avid skier, and an almost pro-level golfer, an accomplished musician, and an experimental video-maker. But whatever he is doing, he does with his own fresh, distinctive style. Whether you’re working with Mike, discussing philosophical ideas, or just brainstorming about a complex problem, one thing is guaranteed: it will never be boring!